Testosterone Enanthate: The most widely used ester within the bodybuilding community
Testosterone Enanthate is by far the most popular ester with steroid users. Find out exactly why this is by reading on.
A naturally occurring hormone within the human body, testosterone plays a critical role in a number of different functions including bone density, muscle mass, libido, hair growth, prostate growth and erectile function. It can also have an impact on moods and memory, providing a sense of wellbeing and aiding cognition.
Low testosterone can cause a deficit in any or all of these areas, and is a condition which requires pharmaceutical treatment.
For this reason, in the 1930s, a new compound was developed: testosterone suspension. This was originally derived from animals before a synthetic version was created. The problem with testosterone suspension was that it dispersed in the body very quickly after administration before the full effects could be felt.
Therefore, an ester was attached to the testosterone in order to slow the breakdown of it within the body and allow it to be released more steadily into the bloodstream. This first esterified variant of testosterone was known as propionate, and had a relative short life at just two days. This was however double the half-life of the testosterone suspension.
Testosterone propionate become a huge success in the following years but the relatively short life was still an issue. In the 1950s, another esterified testosterone was developed: enanthate. This variant was a larger ester than propionate but was later eclipsed by a longer acting testosterone cypionate.
Although a longer acting testosterone ester became available, enanthate was still much in demand and to this day continues to be the most popular form of testosterone.
Testosterone enanthate is used therapeutically to treat conditions such as undescended testicles, and low androgen levels in males.
Can Testosterone Enanthate be taken on its own?
Testosterone is widely considered to be the king of all anabolic steroids and as such often forms the basis of any stack. For this reason, significant benefits can still be gained when testosterone is taken on its own. This holds true for all forms, including enanthate.
Although testosterone enanthate can be used on its own to great effect, without needing another anabolic steroid, the estrogenic side effects can be an issue. For this reason, although it can be taken without being part of a true stack, complementing with an AI is often required to avoid puffiness and gynecomastia.
A testosterone only cycle is normally advisable for beginners, before moving onto stacking and enanthate is often the variant of choice because of its ease in both administration and also maintaining peak levels in the blood.
Although testosterone provides a significant benefit when taken on its own, it is most commonly used in a stack where it can combine to produce considerable gains.
Stacking testosterone with Dianabol and Nandrolone has been popular for many decades and is viewed by many as a classic bulking combination. This stack is suitable for everyone from beginners to advanced users and delivers both in building bulk and gaining strength. This precise stack is rumored to have been used by bodybuilding supremo Arnold Schwarzenegger at the pinnacle of his athletic career.
Because testosterone enanthate has a longer half-life than many other anabolic steroids, there can be some disparities in the administration and different schedules may be required to combine slow and fast acting drugs.
One advanced stack which has no such problems is testosterone enanthate and trenbolone enanthate, both having similar release times. This stack can be used for both bulking and cutting but should only be utilized by experienced anabolic steroid users.
How it is administered
Testosterone enanthate is a depot application which means that it is administered via an injection, typically once or twice per week.
Like other anabolic steroids, the injection is directed into the muscles rather than the bloodstream; this prevents too much of the drug from entering circulation too rapidly and protects against blood clots developing.
Because the release of testosterone in the enanthate form is relatively slow, it only needs to be taken once every 1-3 weeks. However, for those on a bodybuilding cycle, the more frequent end of that bracket is more typical, or in some cases even more often, up to twice weekly.
To see a benefit in muscle mass and definition, a dosage of at least 500-1000mg per week is required. One study showed that when taken at 600mg per week, a gain in lean body mass of 15% was achieved.
For many athletes, a dosage of 500-600mg will be sufficient to yield good results. It is possible to go higher but the risk of side effects starts to become problematic.
The testosterone enanthate ester is in the middle ground between propionate and cypionate, offering a larger ester than the former but still smaller than the latter.
With testosterone enanthate, the half-life is approximately 8-10.5 days but will leave hormone levels elevated for a total of 2-3 weeks.
Testosterone provides a number of very desirable effects both in the physical appearance and in the athletic performance.
For bodybuilders looking to create lean mass and burn fat, there is arguably no better than testosterone. Testosterone binds to the androgen receptors on fat cells, preventing more fat from being formed and promoting the burning of adipose tissue. Simultaneously, testosterone allows the muscle to receive more than the fat cells via a process known as nutrition portioning.
At the same time, performance is enhanced by more red blood cells circulating around the body, plus greater levels of endurance. This, in addition to a faster recovery, allows the individual to train much harder and for longer which produces far superior results.
As well as providing a more muscular and defined body, testosterone enanthate also provides some protection for the joints as well. Testosterone naturally plays a role in supporting collagen and this together with high bone density can bring stability to joints which are being put under pressure. Although testosterone has at times been linked to increased irritability and even anger, in many cases it brings about a feeling of contentment and happiness along with sharpness of mental functioning.
Testosterone is the steroid that the majority of bodybuilders start to supplement with and for the majority, it will continue to be a mainstay of their cycles throughout their lifetime.
The reason for this is that testosterone is a substance which naturally occurs in the body and is essential for a number of core processed. As such, it has a much higher tolerance level than some of the other types of anabolic steroids. Despite this, some individuals do experience side effects either because they haven’t followed the right kind of regime, or because they are sensitive to the drug.
Many unwanted effects can be brought under control either with additional supplements, or by adjusting the dose or frequency.
Testosterone enanthate is a very androgenic steroid, being converted in the body to dihydrotestosterone, an even more potent substance. Dihydrotestosterone is responsible for the androgenic effects which occur which could include:
• Oily skin
• Excessive growth of body hair
• Deepening of the voice
• Hair loss (see more below)
The risk of suffering the above generally increases with higher doses with many people experiencing unwanted effects once they reach the rate of 1000mg per week or more.
As an aromatizing drug, testosterone enanthate can cause estrogenic effects within the body which in most cases is very undesirable.
Water retention and bloating are two of the main problems which arise, along with gynecomastia. A small amount of water retention can sometimes be appreciated on a bulking cycle for those who like to have some protection around their muscles. However, if the fluid retention is excessive or if the individual is on a cutting cycle, it can normally be eliminated with the use of either a SERM or an AI.
An AI is generally the more effective but can cause depression of healthy HDL cholesterol. For this reason, SERMs such as Nolvadex are usually tried in the first instance.
Testosterone has been shown to have a negative impact on the levels of HDL cholesterol particularly when taken in combination with an aromatase inhibitor. HDL cholesterol has been shown to be suppressed by up to 15%.
Any individual taking testosterone enanthate should undergo regular cholesterol checks and stick to a healthy eating regime.
As an androgenic drug, testosterone enanthate can cause some problems with hair loss but only to those who already hold the male pattern baldness gene.
In these cases, use of the steroid can accelerate any hair loss which may have otherwise have occurred later in life. Ceasing use will not reverse the hair loss but will prevent any further accelerated episodes from occurring.
Using Finasteride or similar reductase inhibitor may be useful as it will prevent the testosterone to converting to dihydrotestosterone in the body, and thereby partially avoiding the androgenic effect. It’s worth mentioning that this will not completely eradicate the adrogenicity of the drug but will have a powerful effect in reducing it.
Testosterone enanthate is administered intramuscularly rather than orally, so there would only ever be a small risk to the liver, even if it were a hepatotoxic drug. However, testosterone is not a C17-alpha alkylated anabolic steroid and as such, there is no adverse effects on the liver, even when the drug was administered orally during studies.
Like all kinds of testosterone, enanthate provides the body with a source of testosterone which means the testicles no longer have to produce it. This new source shuts down production in the testicles temporarily and this in turn, causes them to atrophy. The shrinkage is not catastrophic and is best described as a loss of fullness. This effect can be disconcerting but is reversible by following an appropriate PCT regime to kick start natural production of testosterone in the body.
Because testosterone enanthate has a longer acting ester, it’s particularly important to check for contraindications and warnings prior to starting a cycle.
If side effects develop, use of the drug should be ceased but individuals with any history of the following should always seek professional advice from a physician first:
• Lymphedema or water retention
• Breast cancer
• Prostate cancer or tumors
• Kidney disease
• Heart attack
• Cardiovascular disease
• High levels of red blood cells in circulation
• Raised cholesterol
• Respiratory disorders
Is Testosterone Enanthate best suited to cutting, bulking or both?
Testosterone can be used for bulking, cutting and for retaining gains in between other cycles. Enanthate is one of the most flexible forms of the drug and even at relatively low levels, when stacked with other drugs can deliver significant benefits without any of the side effects.
Because testosterone aromatizes it can produce a soft puffiness to muscles if an AI is not taken simultaneously. Some athletes on a bulking cycle prefer this appearance so the water retention is not always viewed as a problem. When combined with an AI testosterone enanthate can be a very powerful cutting agent, creating a dry and lean physique without reducing overall muscle mass.
Is it safe for women to use?
As a general rule, testosterone is not recommended for use in women because of the strong androgenic effect, especially when there are other anabolic steroids which will deliver an equivalent response.
However, for those who want to benefit from testosterone, propionate is the variant of choice because of its short-acting ester and relatively rapid exit from the body. By contrast testosterone enanthate is a longer-acting ester with an equally strong androgenic effect.
Taking testosterone enanthate carries a big risk of virilization for women and as such, it’s not normally recommended.
Type of PCT needed after the end of the cycle
As with any type of testosterone supplement, PCT is critical in order to avoid permanent damage to the production of natural testosterone within the body.
Because testosterone enanthate has a fairly long-lasting ester, PCT does not need to start as quickly as when test prop is being taken. For enanthate, PCT should begin approximately three weeks after the last dose is taken.
It is possible to buy testosterone enanthate online very easily as due to the high demand, there are a great number of suppliers.
This popularity also enables the drug to be sold more cheaply so buying testosterone enanthate won’t break the bank balance. For pharmaceutical grade, expect to pay around $150 per 10mls, for veterinary grade $50-75 and underground sources $40-60.
Sports that use it
Testosterone is the very first anabolic steroid which was developed for use and right at the beginning it was used in sport, albeit covertly. Both the Soviet and German teams are believed to have injected testosterone in one form or another in order to gain a huge advantage in performance.
Bodybuilding makes frequent use of testosterone, and enanthate is the most popular form of the drug. Providing the ability to quickly amass lean bulk, as well as heightening performance, strength and endurance testosterone is viewed as an integral drug to be used in any cycle.
However, it’s not just muscle sports which have relied on testosterone; the anabolic steroid has pervaded more or less every sport over the years because of its many benefits and high tolerance level within the body.
Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis are two former Tour de France winners who took testosterone to help them win, but were later exposed in high profile cycling drug scandals. Victor Conte, a top sports coach who managed athletes such as sprinter marion Jones, admitted “microdosing” with testosterone on a regular basis. MMA and WWE wrestling are two other sports which have been dogged with testosterone allegations.
Although testosterone can clear the body rapidly, it leaves behind imbalances which bodies such as WADA can pinpoint as being a sign that testosterone, or other anabolic steroid has been used. Testosterone is therefore often used with other drugs designed to screen the use rather than to provide additional competitive advantage.
Legality of purchase and its usage in the US
Testosterone enanthate is an anabolic steroid and as such it is classified as a controlled substance by the FDA, grouped under Schedule 3.
This means that the drug cannot be prescribed by a doctor for recreational use, only for legitimate therapeutic reasons. Possession, supply or purchasing testosterone enanthate without a prescription is considered to be a criminal offense in the US which is punishable by either a hefty fine or a jail sentence.
The US has some of the strictest laws on anabolic steroids in the world; other countries such as Canada and the UK do not impose penalties on possession for personal use. Elsewhere the laws are even more relaxed and the drug can be bought legally without the need for a prescription. However, even if testosterone enanthate is bought legally in another country, it cannot then be brought back into the US without breaking the law.